Pwn2Own 2009: Safari/MacBook falls in seconds

By | March 19, 2009

Charlie Miller has done it again. For the second consecutive year, the security researcher hacked into a fully patched MacBook computer by exploiting a security vulnerability in Apple’s Safari browser.

“It took a couple of seconds. They clicked on the link and I took control of the machine,” Miller said moments after his accomplishment.

The contest kicked off at exactly 3:15 PM and, within seconds, Miller launched his drive-by attack and claimed the $10,000 top prize. He also got to keep the MacBook machine.

Miller said he came to the CanSecWest security conference with a plan to hack into Safari and had tested the exploit carefully to ensure “it worked the first time.”

TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative has acquired the exclusive rights to the vulnerability and coordinate the disclosure and patch release process with Apple.

Technical details of the vulnerability will not be released until a patch is ready.

Several hackers are currently attempting exploits against Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox but those browsers are still standing.

See the final contest rules here.

via Pwn2Own 2009: Safari/MacBook falls in seconds | Zero Day | ZDNet.com.

Related:

It took a while longer but Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 did not survive the hacker onslaught at this year’s CanSecWest Pwn2Own contest.

A security researcher named “Nils” (he declined to provide his full name) performed a clean drive-by download attack against the world’s most widely used browser to take full control of a Sony Vaio machine running Windows 7.

He won a cash prize and got to keep the hardware.  Details of the vulnerability, which was described by contest sponsor TippingPoint ZDI as a “brilliant IE8 bug!” are being kept under wraps.

Several members of Microsoft’s security response team were on hand to witness the successful exploit.

“Nils” also scored a clean hit against Apple’s Safari (he was the second hacker to exploit Safari) and, later in the afternoon, he exploited a Firefox zero-day flaw to claim the trifecta. – zdnet

This is such a great idea. There should be cash hacking prizes offered each week.  We’d end up with much more secure software.

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